Chapter 1: The Journey to Nowhere

VIola nods to her butterfly, Constantine, and sends him winging toward the nearest building. He disappears through a window, and two minutes later, Viola nods again. "Grog...yes? There." She points to the building.

Aetos sends a bird to the designated window and then reads his mind - especially the input through the senses - to get more specific information:


  • does the grog live/sleep/r.i.p.
  • is her armed
  • is he alone
  • is he a she
  • how many rooms are there
  • what kinds of items are lying around

Viola watches Aetos go through this process, a faint smile on her face, and then finally bursts out giggling, as the bird reaches the window. "Redundant? Grog...yes...alone. A sword...and tools." Anticipating the younger magus's next question, she utters, "Didn't ask?"


Gregorius waits for Aetos and Viola to pass on their information, and then suggests:

"If we've found him, let us speak to him directly." He pauses a moment, then continues: "I suggest that I speak to him first; the force of your gifts is likely to disturb him."

He'll wait for comments, suggestions or disagreements from his sodales. (He has absolutely no objections to the others keeping their birds/butterflies present; he just wants to avoid the effects of the others' gifts.) If there are no major objections to the plan, he'll proceed as follows:

Cast Ward Against Metal: Rego (7) + Terram (7) + Sta (1) + Mastery (1) + Aura (3) + die (5) = 24, goes off without fatigue. (

After a moment's thought (and a feeling that it's probably overkill), he also casts Bitter Taste of Betrayal: Intellego (6) + Vim (5) + Sta (1) + Aura (3) + die (0/10) = 15/25 ( I think that was a simple die roll, so it's 25; in either case there's no botch unless I need to roll extra both dice for some reason, and the spell works.

He'll then head towards the indicated house taking a shield grog with him (as a minor demonstration of status as much as for protection). The shield-grog will be instructed to knock and announce that Gregorius wishes to speak with the resident grog, and also that even should the resident grog prove hostile, Gregorius wants him kept alive.

There is, alas, no response. After a minute, Viola's butterfly, Constantine, flits out a window and alights on Gregorius's shoulder, to whisper in his ear, in Latin. "He's on the second floor, hiding and lying in wait for you. Be careful." He then flies back into the building.


Aetos nods:
"Afraid he is. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Maybe we should introduce ourselves so he knows that we do not want to harm him.""

((Didn't realize I could start posting yet.))

Though Tasia was present in Constantinople, she refused to travel aboard the ship. She took a very small shaving off a board and periodically dropped in during the journey to see if the ship was close. She managed restrict vomiting to only four of the three times she visited. She showed up for the final time shortly before disembarking; that part accounted for two of the four incidents.

After disembarking Tasia will spend a while sitting, waiting for the world to stop rocking. When the world is again ready, she'll try to help out. She gets to the top of the hill well behind the rest of the magi, carried there (floating as though standing just barely above the ground) by Vrahos. Once there she'll rest again, this time actually able to listen to the other magi. "If you give me a little more time to rest, I can be of more assistance... Oh, why is the building swaying?" She turns away, and her stomach doesn't seem to realize it's empty.

Portia sighs heavily as Tasia pops into place. "Trianoma's sagging teats! Am I the only maga who finds it entirely inappropriate for unaffiliated magi to carry around arcane connections to our only base of operations?" While it was the Guernicus' arrival that triggered it, she glares pointedly at Flavius during her outburst, as though Tasia's Leap of the Homecoming merely reminded Portia of an old annoyance she'd forgotten to voice earlier.

((I think Tasia is one of the originals. There was just breakdown in communication about when I could post here. I could be wrong about that. Either way, the connection was to the boat.)

(I didn't know Tasia was going to be a founder. And yes, our ship is the only base we have until a covenant is established, hence Portia's concern. Still, she is only annoyed about Flavius doing it-- she'd be wary of a transient Guernicus doing it but no one in their right mind would tell a Quaesitor what to do.)

Gregorius passes on a summary of this information to shield-grog, and instructs him to announce their presence once more, with the addendum that they have not come with intent to do him harm, in greek as well as Latin. (He's guessing that the resident-grog likely comes from the Theban tribunal as well, and there's a possibility that he doesn't actually speak Latin). He'll then wait a short while longer.

Assuming this doesn't produce results, he'll firstly recast Ward Against Metal (Rego (7) + Terram (7) + Sta (1) + Mastery (1) + Aura (3) + die (8) = 27, ( goes off without fatigue), and then attempts to enter the house behind the shield grog.

Assuming this is do-able (only on the latch/bird/butterfly help/pass the unyielding portal (If it comes down to Pass the Unyielding Portal, he botches:

Sorry, apparently I missed this post because it was on a new page.

The repeated call still draws no response from the grog. The butterfly, though, has a look inside the door, and promptly informs Gregorius that the door is boobytrapped--and more in the way of an Herbam stake than a Terram something.


Quietly to the magi Tasia says, "If I can catch sight of him I should be able to put him to sleep. We could then talk to him in a more comfortable fashion." Tasia regards the windows, considering. "Is he armed with a bow or crossbow?" she asks Viola. "He seems to have holed himself up pretty well. We could rip apart some of the building around him. If worse comes to worse, we can interrogate him after he dies." Tasia seems to nod and smile to an unheard reply of agreement to that last suggestion.

Gregorius thanks the butterfly, and then comments to it/Viola:

"Our efforts not to unsettle him with the effects of the gift seem to have been somewhat unnecessary."

He spontaneously casts Prying Eyes (In 6 + Im 0 + Aura 3 + Sta 1 + die 6 ( =8), then peers at the trap. Can it be easily avoided by someone who knows where it is? Is there any obvious easy way of disarming it? (The butterfly said some sort of wooden stake, but he wants a bit more detail than that.) If he can get inside the room mundanely reasonably easily avoiding the trap then he'll do that/get the grog to do it, depending on how much knowledge of the trap would be needed.

If that fails, he'll then move round to the window (and wait a couple of minutes). He's after a view of the inside of the door, ideally, but he'll settle for the inside of a room. If he gets the former, and the trap is disarmable just by moving something, he'll spont a version of the Unseen Arm: (Re (7) + He(0) + Aura (3) + Sta (1) + die (9))/2 = 10 (, so it actually ends up being Unseen Porter and can pull things with the strength of a +5 man.

If that isn't an option, he'll try to Rego Corpus himself inside (need level 10 for 5 paces of travel) with loud words and gestures: (Re(7) + Co(3) + Aura (3) + Sta (1) + Word and gestures (2) + die (4))/2 = 10. Works, just (

Once inside, he'll pause and listen for any immediately danger or traps, and if necessary then go and open the door and let the grog in.

If he can't find a window he can see inside at all (I'm assuming one exists due to the butterflies and birds), he'll consider complicated options involving prying eyes and maintaining the demanding spell, realise how tired that would make him and then lose patience and just destroy the door with Curse of the Rotted Wood: (Pe (0) + He (0) + Sta (1) + Aura (3) + Words and gestures (2) + die (5)) / 2 = 5 ( He is largely trying to avoid damage the structure, though.

The Prying Eyes works, as does the Unseen Arm--really, all you needed to do was to trigger the trap by opening the door with Unseen Arm. [On a side note, you can't automatically assume that a higher spont roll creates a more powerful effect--it can happen that way, but it's at SG discretion.] The door is now safely open, if you want to go in.


While Gregorious is triggering the trap, Tasia will take advantage of the distraction. She'll ask Vrahos to float her up to see in a window (well out of reach of it) while she transforms her outfit into mail. She wants to get a glimpse of the grog.

He doesn't seem to be in sight of any of the windows--a wily guy, apparently.


((Well, that will have taken a little time, so I'll sit back while the others act.))

It appears to be just you and Gregorius at the moment, so feel free....


Aetos leaves overpowering the man to the others. He determines the aura, then recovers from the strain of spellcasting.

In 10 + Vi 0 + x = about 5.